Grace Hotels Acquires Historic La Margna Hotel In St. Moritz And Plans Creation Of Grace St. Moritz Hotel And Residences

Grace Hotels (www.gracehotels.com), the privately owned luxury hotel group, has acquired the historic La Margna Hotel in the heart of St. Moritz, Switzerland. The hotel has been privately owned by the Schweizer-Pitsch family for the past fifty years. The family is now retiring from the hotel business, passing guardianship of La Margna to Grace Hotels, itself part of a family-owned business.

View of St. Moritz Lake in Switzerland.  (PRNewsFoto/Grace Hotels)

View of St. Moritz Lake in Switzerland. (PRNewsFoto/Grace Hotels)

La Margna, built in 1906, is one of the landmark hotel buildings in St. Moritz which remains one of the world’s most glamorous summer and winter destinations as well as being a spotlight for winter sports since its establishment in the late 19th Century. St Moritz has twice hosted the Winter Olympics and is home to the famed Cresta Run toboggan course. The south-facing hotel has perfect views of the resort’s lake and valley and is just minutes away from the luxury shops and restaurants which define the town’s ‘jet set’ status.

The hotel will remain open as La Margna until the end of the 2013/14 skiing season. During 2014 the company will undertake an extensive program of renovation and transformation to create Grace St. Moritz – a luxury hotel, and Grace St. Moritz Residences – serviced residences built and maintained to the high standards of luxury that have won Grace Hotels global critical acclaim.

On completion of renovations the hotel will comprise 36 rooms and suites plus several serviced apartments with spectacular views of the lake. It will have three restaurants – the premier restaurant will be an all-new internationally branded fine dining experience. There will also be a classic Swiss restaurant specialising in local cuisine and a more casual restaurant offering all-day dining, plus a new martini and cigar bar. The hotel has private parking and is just two minutes’ walk from the railway and bus stations.

The Grace St. Moritz Spa will be completely redesigned to create a luxurious retreat for therapy, wellbeing and relaxation. Plans include a new gym and swimming pool with dramatic architectural features. The skiing facilities will also be upgraded to the highest standards with a state-of-the-art, fully equipped ski room.

Commenting on the addition of Grace St. Moritz to the group’s portfolio, Grace Hotels’ CEO, Philippe Requin stated: “This is an iconic hotel in one of the world’s most iconic resorts and a worthy addition to the Grace family. The Engadine Valley is an area of outstanding natural beauty while St. Moritz itself remains one of Europe’s most exclusive destinations. Following its illustrious history, we are proud to be taking La Margna into the next chapter of its evolution.”

Commenting on behalf of her family, Ursina Pitsch stated: “While we are sad to be leaving the hotel after 50 glorious years, we couldn’t be happier that La Margna finds itself in the hands of a group that shares our values and has demonstrated a track record for preserving the essence of historic hotels while infusing them with touches of modern luxury.”

St. Moritz is often regarded as the birthplace of winter tourism, becoming an alpine resort in 1864. It is a premier winter sports destination offering 350 km (217 miles) of piste. It is also one of Switzerland’s highest resorts, at 1800 metres.  In addition to skiing, St. Moritz offers many options for sports and recreation all year round including hiking, guided snow shoe treks, paragliding, biking, golfing, inline skating, windsurfing, tennis and sailing. The village and surrounding area is rich in art and cultural pursuits and boasts world class shopping and dining. For reservations, visit www.lamargna.ch or www.gracehotels.com

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RED 2 Debuts On Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, Video On Demand and Pay-Per-View November 26

Bruce Willis And His Red Hot Black-Ops Team Return In A Hilarious, Action-Packed Sequel,

Early Digital HD Window Begins on November 12

The high-octane follow-up to the worldwide hit, Red 2 arrives on Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital HD UltraViolet), DVD (plus Digital Ultraviolet),Video On Demand and Pay-Per-View on November 26 from Summit Entertainment, a LIONSGATE Company. The film will be available on Digital HD two weeks early on November 12. Bruce Willis (The Expendables) stars as retired black-ops CIA agent Frank Moses who must reunite his unlikely team of elite operatives to take on a new set of enemies on a mission that is “smart, sexy and packs a wallop!”(AM New York). Featuring an outstanding all-star cast including John Malkovich (Burn After Reading) and Mary-Louise Parker (Showtime’s “Weeds”), along with Anthony Hopkins (Thor) and Helen Mirren (The Queen), Red 2 proves the best never rest.

Retired black-ops CIA agent Frank Moses (Willis) and his team set out on a global quest to track down a missing, next-generation lethal device that can change the balance of world power. To succeed, they’ll need to survive an army of relentless assassins, ruthless terrorists and power-crazed government officials, all eager to get their hands on the technologically advanced super weapon. Outgunned and outmanned, they have only their cunning wits, old-school skills and each other to rely on as they try to save the world – and stay alive in the process.

The Red 2 Blu-ray Disc and DVD bonus materials include “The Red 2 Experience,” an in-depth look at the film’s characters, weapons, spy gadgets and stunts, as well as deleted scenes and a gag reel and will be available for the suggested retail price of $39.99 and $29.95, respectively.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra & Ticketmaster Give The Gift That Rocks This Holiday Season

WITH A GIFT TICKET, EVEN IF YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY ARE FAR AWAY, YOU CAN FINALLY SHARE YOUR CHRISTMAS TRADITION AND EVERYONE ON YOUR HOLIDAY LIST WILL HAVE A MEMORY THAT WILL LAST A LIFETIME.

Looking for the perfect gift this Holiday Season? For the first time ever, The Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) and Ticketmaster, a Live Nation Entertainment company, are offering fans nationwide a seamless way to buy TSO concert tickets as a gift for your friends & family. Celebrate TSO’s 15th year of touring with the encore and final performance of their multi-platinum rock opera, “The Lost Christmas Eve.”  TSO’s 2013 Winter Tour will begin on Nov.13, playing over 100 shows in 67 cities across North America, presented by Hallmark Channel.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Ticketmaster Give the Holiday Gift that Rocks. (PRNewsFoto/Live Nation)

Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Ticketmaster Give the Holiday Gift that Rocks. (PRNewsFoto/Live Nation)

For one final year, audiences will get to experience the modern Charles Dickens-like classic, “The Lost Christmas Eve.”  Following the 2012 premiere of this acclaimed rock opera, critics were raving, calling it “…a must see for any music lover,” “…a rock n roll holiday celebration worth seeing!” and an “unrivaled spectacle of sight and sound.”

Our Winter Tour has always been about bringing people together and people sharing the TSO experience with their friends and family,” O’Neill explains. “Fans constantly tell us how these shows have become part of their families Holiday tradition.”

In response to consumer demand, Ticketmaster and Trans-Siberian Orchestra have developed a safe and convenient way for TSO fans to buy tickets as a gift for anyone on their Holiday list in select venue’s utilizing Ticketmaster’s new Digital Ticket Transfer technology. The Gifting program is available for TSO concerts sold through www.Ticketmaster.com only. By simply selecting “TSO Gift Ticket” upon purchase and following the steps to digitally transfer tickets at http://www.ticketmaster.com/tsogift, an exhilarating spectacle awaits to inspire and captivate a new generation. For a complete listing of eligible events and to find a show near you visit http://www.ticketmaster.com/TransSiberian-Orchestra-tickets/artist/780815.

Ticketmaster is helping our fans have a seamless experience in getting tickets to their friends and family without having to go to scalpers and the secondary market,” says composer Paul O’Neill.  “It is not only important to us that the show is as great as we can possibly make it but also that it is affordable.”

Ticketmaster’s Digital Ticket Transfer lets fans share digital tickets with friends who are notified via email. To avoid duplication, each ticket is issued a unique barcode once transferred, cancelling that of the original ticket. Recipients can either print tickets from a desktop or, if a venue is mobile-entry capable, simply scan their ticket at the gate with no additional cost to the fan. Tickets can be transferred on www.Ticketmaster.com and from mobile devices via Ticketmaster and Live Nation mobile applications (iOS & Android) and m.ticketmaster.com.

Holiday Gift For the Techie in the Family: G-Technology® Speeds Up External Hard Drive Performance For Storing And Protecting Your Digital Life

NEW G-DRIVE® SLIM USB 3.0 AND G-DRIVE MOBILE USB 3.0 NOW FEATURE 7,200 RPM HARD DISK DRIVES, ENABLING 20-40 PERCENT FASTER DATA TRANSFER RATES FOR QUICKLY STORING AND PROTECTING PHOTOS, VIDEOS, MUSIC AND MORE

G-Technology, a leader in delivering premium storage solutions for consumers and content creators, today announced two new high-performance portable external storage solutions. The sleek and portable G-DRIVE slim and G-DRIVE mobile, recently introduced at the 2013 PhotoPlus Conference and Expo in New York City and already favorites among design-conscious users who need fast, reliable storage on the go, are now available with 7,200 RPM hard disk drives (HDDs). When compared to 5,400 RPM-based HDD models, these external drives deliver up to 20-40 percent faster data transfer rates for quicker access to photos, videos, music and documents.

In this digital world, we all need reliable, fast storage to protect the photos, videos and music that mean the most to us,” said Mike Williams, vice president and general manager, G-Technology. “Whether you’re a professional photographer needing to store and protect content in the field, or a consumer needing a simple storage and backup solution, our new portable external drives are the solution. Each external drive delivers performance, reliability and style in a sleek, portable design.”

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G-Technology’s roots are deeply ingrained in delivering premium storage solutions for audio/video production, photography and the professional content creation market. From storing, transferring, editing and distributing content, G-Technology makes the workflow simpler, better and faster. G-Technology’s high-performance portable and desktop drives, flexible transfer/edit solutions and fast RAID systems are all built for professional content creation environments where performance and reliability are paramount. Because G-Technology holds itself to the highest standards, its products can be found in premier production and post-production facilities worldwide.

The G-DRIVE slim with USB 3.0 is a stylish, ultra-thin portable drive designed for your Apple(®) MacBook(®), MacBook Pro(®), or MacBook Air(®).  Featuring the industry’s only 7mm z-height, 7,200 RPM, hard drive – the Travelstar(®) Z7K500 – as well as a high-performance USB 3.0 interface, the G-DRIVE slim delivers transfer rates of up to 125MB per second, nearly 23 percent faster than other 5,400 RPM-based external drives. Its slender, lightweight aluminum case packs up to 500GB of storage for photos, videos, music and more. The G-DRIVE slim is available today with an MSRP of $89.95.

The G-DRIVE mobile USB 3.0 external drive is the perfect storage option for portable use. Featuring a USB 3.0 interface and a 1TB, 7,200 RPM HGST Travelstar7K1000 mobile hard drive, the G-DRIVE mobile USB 3.0 solution delivers transfer speeds of up to 136MB per second, which is up to 43 percent faster than its 5,400 RPM counterpart. The G-DRIVE mobile USB 3.0 offers 1TB of storage capacity, and is available at www.G-Technology.com or through G-Technology’s valued channel partners.  The 1TB G-DRIVE mobile USB 3.0 has a MSRP of $139.95. Continue reading

Marks & Spencer Launches Its 2013 Christmas Campaign

DAVID GANDY, HELENA BONHAM-CARTER AND ROSIE HUNTINGTON-WHITELEY STARS IN MARKS & SPENCER’S FAIRYTALE-INSPIRED CHRISTMAS CAMPAIGN

Marks & Spencer (M&S) launched its widely anticipated Christmas TV campaign on the M&S website and social channels. Starring a stellar British cast of Rosie Huntington-Whitely, David Gandy and Helena Bonham-Carter, this year’s ad takes viewers on a spectacular, Christmassy, visual journey inspired by some of our most loved fairy tales. (You can view the 2 1/2 minute-long version of the TV ad here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_3106684423&feature=iv&src_vid=ThR2tlFHaJE&v=O7Xw1IL3oh0) Love It!!

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From Alice in Wonderland to The Wizard of Oz, the campaign revives the famous M&S ‘Magic & Sparkle’ logocatchphrase, encouraging customers to ‘Believe in Magic & Sparkle’ as it takes them through an array of wondrous settings that highlight the wide range of festive products available this season.

Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, Executive Director of Marketing & Business Development at M&S, said: “With this year’s ad we wanted to recapture the magical essence of Christmas that our customers tell us is synonymous with M&S.  Magic & Sparkle is an extraordinary franchise, which has always been a firm favourite with customers.  Working with our all British cast, director Johan Renck has created a modern epic where fashion meets fantasy – bringing to life much loved fairy tales with more than a sprinkle of high glamour”.

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Set to an enchanting orchestral soundtrack, the ad is shot in a filmic style.  Rosie Huntington-Whitely takes the lead role, which sees her transition from reality into a land of favourite fairy tales. Opening on a city street, a cheeky little dog dashes across the screen with Rosie in hot pursuit. Taking inspiration from Alice in Wonderland, she tumbles from the real world and lands in a snow dusted enchanted forest, seated at a fantastical feast. David Gandy assumes the role of Mad Hatter as he hosts Rosie and other characters at a table filled with beautiful M&S products –DavidGandy marks & Spencer_0 (1) tempting guests to ‘drink me’, ‘eat me’ and ‘love me’.

Dressed in a stylish red coat, Rosie moves into a Red Riding Hood scene set inside ‘Grandma’s House’ packed with twinkling lights, talking portraits and giant over-sized presents. Stepping onto a rug, Rosie is whisked onto a magic carpet ride across the London skyline – accompanied by David. The Arabian Nights inspired setting provides the perfect backdrop for Rosie to model her stunning, silk Rosie for Autograph lingerie and sleepwear range.

From her carpet ride, Rosie lands on the yellow brick road. As she dusts herself down, she is joined by a very stylish scarecrow in the form of David Gandy. Channelling Dorothy, Rosie dons a pair of striking red high heels to make her way towards the city. It’s here that Helena Bonham-Carter makes a special guest appearance as a style savvy Wizard – who immediately spots Rosie’s shoes (“Love the shoes!). On clicking her heels Rosie returns to her snowy

Helena Bonham-Carter as The Wizard of Oz

Helena Bonham-Carter as The Wizard of Oz

reality. Now in the real world, Helena emerges holding Rosie’s beloved dog and returns him safely to his delighted owner.

As part of its interactive plan, M&S will ask viewers to vote via Twitter and Facebook on the name of the Highland Terrier that stars in the advert – they can choose between Magic or Sparkle. Footage of the dog taking shoppers on an adventure will also be released online.

The campaign teaser went live on Wednesday 30th October, before the full two minute version was available on the Marks & Spencer YouTube Channel and social channels on Monday 4th November. The ad will air on TV for the first time during the Coronation Street ad break on Wednesday 6th November.

The ad was shot by London-based agency Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R and was directed by Johan Renck – who has directed numerous music videos including working with Madonna, and campaigns for major designer fashion houses.

You can shop the Marks & Spencer Christmas Collections at the M&S Christmas Shop here: http://www.marksandspencer.com/Christmas/b/44386030

Trend-ology: New Exhibition to Open at The Museum at FIT

Fashion & Textile History Gallery at The Museum at FIT

December 3, 2013 – April 30, 2014

The Museum at FIT will present Trend-ology, a new exhibition that examines the sources from which fashion trends have emerged over the past 250 years. Themes highlighted include 18th-century court dress, the rise of the couturier in 19th-century Paris, hip hop fashion, and more recent developments related to blogging, fast fashion, and social-media networking. Featuring approximately 100 objects from the museum’s permanent collection, the exhibition will also highlight industry developments that have had an impact on how trends propagate. The show features designs by Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Rei Kawakubo, Jean Paul Gaultier, Helmut Lang, Martin Margiela, and Opening Ceremony, to name a few. Also on view is a video produced exclusively for Trend-ology, featuring interviews with fashion insiders Simon Doonan, Carol Lim of Opening Ceremony and Kenzo, Saul Lopez Silva of WGSN, and many others.

(left) Rodarte, evening dress, black and nude net, wool, black leather, beads, cheese cloth, and metal gauze, spring 2010, USA, museum purchase, (right) Rodarte for Target, evening dress, polyester crepe chiffon, 2009, USA, gift of The Fashion and Textile Studies Department and the School of Graduate Studies

(left) Rodarte, evening dress, black and nude net, wool, black leather, beads, cheese cloth, and metal gauze, spring 2010, USA, museum purchase, (right) Rodarte for Target, evening dress, polyester crepe chiffon, 2009, USA, gift of The Fashion and Textile Studies Department and the School of Graduate Studies

Fashion trends change every season, with shifts in print, color, material, embellishment, and silhouette. These derive from a variety of sources, including urban street style, art, music, film, and socio-political movements. The word “trend” first arose as an economic term used to describe shifts in financial markets. Today, the word is ubiquitous in the fashion media, and trend forecasting companies have made researching and predicting trends a profitable business.

Yet, as we move further into the 21st century, specific trends seem increasingly hard to define. The advent of fast fashion, the internet, and social media have created a quick-paced global environment in which fashion trends emerge and spread in faster and more complex ways than ever before. By looking back at the history of trends, Trend-ology aims to help viewers gain insight into the current state of the trend cycle.

Louis Vuitton (Takashi Murakami), “Speedy 30” monogram handbag, multicolor monogram canvas, 2003, France, museum purchase

Louis Vuitton (Takashi Murakami), “Speedy 30” monogram handbag, multicolor monogram canvas, 2003, France, museum purchase

Trend-ology will open with an overview of 21st-century developments in fashion retailing. These will include examples from fast-fashion companies, such as Zara, H&M, and Topshop, that have contributed to the increasing fascination–and anxiety–surrounding trends. High-low collaborations, including a “Rodarte for Target” sequined dress from 2009, will be juxtaposed with high fashion designs–in this case, a runway piece from Rodarte’s spring 2010 collection. A selection of “It” bags, including a Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 bag designed in collaboration with Japanese artist Takeshi Murakami, will illustrate how important the sale of accessories has become to luxury brands during the new millennium. To highlight the recent emergence of concept stores, the introductory section will culminate with ensembles from Opening Ceremony and Colette.

The exhibition’s historical chronology will begin with two 18th-century ensembles, one for a man and the other for a woman, rendered in vibrant shades of yellow. Once negatively associated with “heretics,” yellow became a trendy color in 18th-century dress. The change in yellow’s cultural meaning can be traced to the growing popularity in Europe of chinoiserie. In China, yellow was an auspicious color associated with the emperor.

(left) Dress, yellow silk faille, circa 1770, USA (possibly), museum purchase, (right) Men’s coat, yellow silk, circa 1790,  USA (possibly), museum purchase

(left) Dress, yellow silk faille, circa 1770, USA (possibly), museum purchase, (right) Men’s coat, yellow silk, circa 1790, USA (possibly), museum purchase

(left) Dress, yellow silk faille, circa 1770, USA (possibly), museum purchase, (right) Men’s coat, yellow silk, circa 1790,  USA (possibly), museum purchase

(left) Dress, yellow silk faille, circa 1770, USA (possibly), museum purchase, (right) Men’s coat, yellow silk, circa 1790, USA (possibly), museum purchase

Dress, tartan silk, circa 1812, Scotland, museum purchase

Dress, tartan silk, circa 1812, Scotland, museum purchase

A selection of tartan dresses will show a recurring international trend for tartan dress that emerged during the 19th century from the widespread popularity of Sir Walter Scott’s Scottish-themed novels.

Starting in the mid-19th century, the pace of the trend cycle was accelerated by certain capitalist developments, such as the emergence of the couture house and the subsequent rise of the department store. These developments will be addressed in Trend-ology with a dress, circa 1883, by couturier Charles Fredrick Worth shown alongside an ensemble from Lord & Taylor, circa 1895, and a Lord & Taylor mail-order catalogue from the same period. Continue reading

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Spread Joy This Holiday with Le Couvent Des Minimes Specialty Holiday Gift Sets

400 years ago, a convent was built in the village of Mane in the South of France to shelter the botanist monks of the Minims, who used their considerable knowledge of plants to tend a garden of curative herbs and flowers. Centuries later, the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary continued the original convention of cultivating beneficial ingredients to help strengthen and restore those in need through food recipes. This emphasis on nourishing and reparative care through nature inspired Le Couvent des Minimes’ own simple yet powerful natural care recipes, the basis of a collection of efficacious formulas that draw on the heritage and traditions of the convent of Mane.

The rich, plant-based range is formulated with the highest quality botanicals, offering natural skincare solutions in lush fragrances and beautiful textures. From the monastic heritage of the brand to the garden ingredients it incorporates, Le Couvent des Minimes offers simplicity and authenticity for the modern age.

For the 2013 holiday season, the company has selected six exclusive holiday kits featuring Le Couvent Des Minimes’ most beloved formulas and soothing scents inspired by centuries-old therapeutic recipes. Each gift purchased will also help give back during this season of loving charity.  Throughout the year Le Couvent des Minimes donates 1% of total sales to the brand’s historic cause, the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary Association, to support essential health and childhood projects.

The 2013 Holiday Gift Sets includes the Following:

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Hand Cream Trio ($19.50):  This essential gift sets includes the brand’s most well loved hand creams, including a Honey and Shea infused Nourishing Hand Cream, Lavender and Acacia Extract Soothing Night Hand Cream, and the award winning, best-selling Gardener’s Hand Healer with Shea Butter and 7 beneficial plants.

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Gardener’s Hand Healer Trio ($37.00): Whether you’re tending a garden or navigating modern life, these rich hand care recipes restore overworked hands to their softest, healthiest state with a traditional blend of reparative botanicals. This repairing kit includes the ultra-nourishing Gardener’s Hand Healer Cream, a travel sized Gardener’s Hand Cream to take on the go, and the gentle Exfoliating Cleanser to prep hands to receive moisture.

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Rose Skincare Trio ($52.50): Indulge in the beneficial softness of 4 Roses to moisturize, boost radiance, and preserve a youthful complexion. This elegant gift set includes Gentle Cleansing Milk to delicately purify skin, 3-in-1 Micellar Water, a multi-purpose cleanser, toner, and make-up remover, plus the Complete Moisturizing Cream to intensely hydrate and leave a hint of fresh rose scent.

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Soap Quatro ($22.50): Perfect for all skin types, these pure, vegetable based soaps gently cleanse without drying and leave a graceful scent. This chic collection includes an Eau des Missions Vanilla Fragrance Soap Bar featuring Vanilla, Benzoin, and Virginia Cedar to enhance well-being; an Eau Amiable Fragrance Soap Bar bursting with sweet Orange Blossom essence; and two Eau Des Minimes Fragranced Soap Bars featuring the brand’s revitalizing blend of Lemon, Blood Orange, and Grapefruit. Continue reading